El Puente — Spanish for the bridge — is a community-based organization that engages youth and adult members in the arts, education, public health, environmental justice and social action programs. Founded in 1982 on the Southside of Williamsburg, El Puente works with more than 2,000 North Brooklyn residents each year through its Center for Arts and Culture, a Community Health & Environment Institute (CHE), four Youth Leadership Centers, and a partnership with the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, a New York City public high school it founded almost two decades ago.
El Puente Arts is Brooklyn’s most comprehensive Latino pre-professional arts training program and home to three Tony award-winning alumni. The Center provides arts training to El Puente’s Youth Leadership Centers and the Academy in a variety of arts disciplines: dance, drama, voice, dj/scratch, filmmaking, studio/mural art, graphic design and Hip-Hop. Teaching artists and youth create collaborative theme-based projects and original artwork that promote human rights and community action. El Puente also organizes and supports CADRE (Community Artists' Development & Resource Exchange), a network of mostly Latino artists, artisans and cultural workers. Together, we advocate for equitable access to artistic and cultural expression; create forums for creative exchange and collaboration; incubate individual and collective projects; and perform and exhibit works that honor and celebrate the cultural diversity and artistic richness of the Williamsburg and Bushwick communities.